Saturday, June 21, 2008
It is the summer solstice today, midsummer's day, the longest day of the year. To my southern hemisphere readers is it the winter solstice, midwinter, the shortest day of the year. But I am in England and do not apologise for my northern-hemisphere-centricity.
It feels like the high point of the year, like being on a Ferris wheel when you reach the very top. The sun climbs to its highest point in the sky today. It is in the sky for longer than any other day of the year. Tonight the sun will barely dip below the horizon, and if the sky is clear you may still be able to see a pre-dawn glow at midnight.
I'm not planning any sort of celebration myself. But it's important that I know today is the solstice. It's important it doesn't just go past without being remarked. It is one of the landmarks of the year. From now on the days get shorter - the decline is slow at first and we shall have long hot days for quite a while to come. By the equinox in late September we'll be halfway to midwinter. But that is a long way off yet. Today is midsummer. I hope you have a good one.